This is an essay which describes the life of a serf in Russia. It is written in three journal entries.

Essay by nacionalesHigh School, 10th gradeA, November 2002

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Serfdom in Russia


Like always, today was a very boring and frustrating day. I thought a lot of things today. I think that I will not be able to resist this life as a serf anymore. Russians treated me badly today. I cleaned the land for them today, planted several crops, and watered crops. Today one of my friends was killed for arguing to one of the landowners. I guess he did the right thing- we shouldn't be working for this people. I heard another rumor today about Alexander II- they told me that he was planning to give us our freedom. I didn't believe what they told me- at last it was just a rumor. Well, I guess that today was a very hard day because I was treated badly and one of my best friends died.


Approximately two months passed before I had the opportunity to write a journal again.

These days have been very difficult. These past days I have been listening to the same rumor I had heard about Alexander II. Almost all serfs knew about it. I thought about many things while I was working today. I thought about my family, my friends, and especially about my freedom. I couldn't imagine how it would be if we had the right to buy or even rent lands. I talked about it with my friends every time I could. They thought exactly the same things as me. Al last we had one thing for sure- it was better not to talk and think about it because at last it was only a rumor.


Today was the best day of my life! When I was about to start working, a friend came towards me saying that Alexander II had issued a document called the Emancipation...